I’m only being partly facetious.
Tight yogi pants, hip huggers and provocative dresses have changed the cultural, feminist paradigm in America. The new seductive mode of dress has gone overboard in accentuating that special “attribute” Lord Nyame has “awarded” uniquely to sisters and placed Black men in an awkward predicament.
A friend of mine said he had acquired membership in a national chain fitness club last year only to vow never to return after one visit when he discovered what he thought was a sanctuary of exhibitionism.
He said he figured if he visited too often, the only part of his body that would get exercise would be his neck (if you get my drift).
Several weeks ago, he had worked late and wanted to get a workout in, so he stopped by the 24-hour club on his way home.
The incident that followed prompted him to permanently exclude the branch from his schedule.
Seconds after getting off the treadmill, he said he was approached by a middle-aged sister who accused him of staring at her “butt”.
She all but accused him of sexual assault.
The brother admitted he did look—“I couldn’t help but look, her pants were so tight a gynecologist wouldn’t have had to ask her to disrobe,” he said, confessing to only observing (not “lusting” as he’s a happily married Christian) for three to five seconds.
“Why do they wear such provocative clothing—or can you even call it that—yet get mad if you look at them?” he asked.
“Don’t ask me,” I said. Whatever timing you use, cut it in half. A glance is okay, but to stare is inconsiderate, rude and, nowadays, considered sexual harassment.
“Unless you’re Donald Trump. Then you are not bound by any rules, including grabbing women by their…”
But I could feel the brother’s confusion, a position shared by many good men (I’m not talking about the male Neckbones who not only stare but share their lustful thoughts).
The new (unwritten) rules imply we must walk on eggshells and are told to wear blinders.
But even that doesn’t help, because a good-looking sister can walk across your path, and unless you look, you might accidently run into them! Then you’ll be charged with sexual assault!
Okay, I’m being facetious again, but I’m not too far off base. Brothers are confused; particularly middle-aged brothers who feel the new rules are a contradiction.
We’re like Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who is using the same tackling technique he built a reputation on for 20 years, but has been called for three consecutive roughing penalties because the league changed the rules to something totally nonsensical.
Of course, butts are not the only female body parts getting brothers in trouble and making them overly conscious and defensive.
The new fad of halter tops (I guess that’s what they call them) and low-cut blouses and tops that expose all of the breasts save for the nipples, are not only distracting, but a minefield of allegations and legal ramifications.
Can you look but not stare? At what point (in microseconds) does a look of appreciation or awe, constitute a “stare”?
Can you look at all?
As a brother asked during a conversation about this minefield (or is it “mindfield”?) asked the poignant question: “why do they wear that type of attire? Is it for them, or for us? Does it burn more calories? And if it’s to attract attention, or merely to be provocative, what are we supposed to do?”
Those questions are additionally confusing because many entertainers and reality “stars” have undergone “booty” surgery (Kim and the rest of the Kardashians come to mind) expressly to draw attention.
Obviously, I can’t answer those questions either, other than to utilize the old political ploy of answering a question with a question: If men walk around shirtless in the summer, do the same rules apply?
Hey, 50 years and 50 pounds ago I sought attention that way. And it worked for me, for my intended purposes. (Of course, that’s before I got married, and pretended to pluck my eyes out.)
Older brothers are particularly confused because we didn’t have to deal with these questions growing up. Sisters wore more modest clothing back in the day, and women who dressed like many “average” women do today, would be called hoes and sluts, so no one cared if men looked.
(I’m not trying to provoke an argument on that point, I’m just telling you like it was.)
Growing up, “good, Christian and Moslem sisters didn’t expose their middles or wear low hip huggers to show off their tramp stamps (which, I also assume, for which there is a three second rule).
Obviously, there’s a long bridge between then and now. Social norms have changed—some say evolved like the constitution and the Bible—and thus the three-second rule has been instituted both to provide women with a sense of security and freedom, as well as to provide for an astetic freedom.
And even though I’m alternating between humor and sarcasm, I strongly believe all women—all people—should be allowed their own space and be free of harassment. And that includes the BBW for whom tight pants are not only inappropriate, but unflattering (and you know the Neckbones I’m talking about).
OK, that’s going too far again, but you get my point.
Everyone thinks they look good in the mirror, even if it’s cracked. And who are we to dictate their mode of dress?
Which is exactly my point. I’m sure when you saw Big Bertha, with curlers in her pink hair, breasts popping out of her too small bra, and meat spilling out of her size six yoga pants, you looked (laughed), but didn’t stare.
Chances are you didn’t want to look for more than three seconds anyway!
Last point of confusion: if you monitor social media or Black radio, most of the sisters don’t believe Bill Cosby should have been sentenced to prison. And he raped 108,210 women! (I know I’m exaggerating, but it seemed like it was that many!)
So, apparently, it’s OK for Cosby to commit a horrendous crime, but it’s not OK to look for more than three seconds?
My suggestion to my friend and other confused brothers: Treat all sisters, no matter what they are wearing, like your mother. Don’t do anything that will make them feel uncomfortable. Including admiring for more than 1.5 seconds. Remember, sisters not only have remarkable memories, but eyes in the back of their heads. They are located two to three feet above that booty you are “staring” at.